Maple bonsai are perhaps one of the most fascinating of all bonsai. Their deciduous nature makes them constantly changing and therefore, constantly fascinating. With that comes their beautiful transitions throughout the year, from changing of leaves to the losing of them all during the winter months.
Their leaves are characteristically diaphanous, shaped similarly to that of the palm, hence its Latin name ‘palmatum’. Each of the leaves within a species is a different shade of colour and shape to the next, setting each and every plant apart.
The different maple species include a variety of captivating appearances and sizes from the Japanese Maple ‘Acer palmatum’ and the Field Maple (English Maple) which is also known as ‘Acer campestre’.
THE ENGLISH MAPLE:
The English Maple is a great example of a bonsai which is easy to care for as it responds well to leaf reduction and implication. It sets itself apart from the other bonsai in the maple species, boasting its more frilly and translucent leaves as well as it is the hardiest of all maple bonsai.
It has five-lobed leaves with rounded teeth and during the change of seasons from summer to spring turn green to golden yellow. It’s often regarded a plant with autumn colouring and is the only native Maple species found in Europe.
THE JAPANESE MAPLES:
Another popular bonsai species among bonsai enthusiasts is the Japanese Maple or the ‘Acer palmatum’. The ‘palmatum’ is perhaps the most captivating of them all due to its spectacular colours and its constant transitions from shades of green to shades of red, sometimes even supplementing the plant at the same time.
Their leaves are best described as both feathery and delicate. Cultivated originally from Japan, these maples are habitually shaped hemispherical once mature.
Similarly, to the English Maple, the Japanese Maple retorts well to pruning and ramification but requires more specific growing conditions with ideally, a regular water supply so that the soil is moist but not waterlogged and shade during hotter seasons. We offer the following types of Japanese Maple: Deshojo, Katsura and Nomura.
The Deshojo Maple has striking, scarlet leaves with a dramatic appearance, guaranteed to add interest to your garden from the month on end. They unfurl in spring, turning green in the summer months and its iconic scarlet colour during the autumn. Much like the English Maple, the Deshojo is hardy and is a fantastic addition to any garden. Like most Japanese Maples, it requires shade and shelter from stronger winds.
The Katsura Maple is an iconic bright orange during spring months, transitioning to green in the summer and finally a golden yellow during the autumn. Most renowned for its striking foliage which stands out in any garden throughout the year. Unlike the Deshojo, the Katsura favours full sun or part shade for the best leaf colours.
Like most Maple plants, the Katsura requires little maintenance, making it perfect for city gardens as well as cottage gardens. It should ideally be kept in slightly acidic, moist and organically rich soil conditions and pruned only in the dormant season of winter.
The Nomura Maple is known for its rich purple and red changeovers throughout the year before becoming leafless in the winter. It favours the bright sunshine in the spring but partial shade in the summer with a plentiful supply of water.
During the winter months, the Nomura favours water only when the ground dries and has been vaporised from strong sunlight. Unlike the Katsura and Deshojo, the maple doesn’t lose its colour during the changing of seasons and remains a distinctive, rich purple-red.
On offer at Bonsai Direct is a diverse range of both English Field Maples and Japanese Maples all of which display the beauty of the maple species with varying size, colour and features, which of course, makes the trees so popular among both beginners and experienced bonsai professionals alike.